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    4. RASHI METHOD: ALIGNMENT
    BRIEF EXPLANATION: Aligning two almost identically worded verselets can suggest
    • (4a) 2 cases of the same incident or law
    • (4b) emphasis on the nuances of a case
    • (4c) use of broad vs literal usage of words
    This examples applies to Rashis Gn06-18b
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/w33n5.htm
    Brief Summary: Abstention in ark: Go to ark-NOAH-SONS and WIFE-DAUGHTER IN LAW-;leave ark NOAH-WIFE and SON-DAUGTHER-IN-LAWS

The table below presents an aligned extract of verses in Gn06-18b, Gn07-07, Gn08-16. All verses discuss the entry/departure of Noah and his family from the ark. The alignment justifies the Rashi assertion that While in the ark there was abstention: Men (Noah-sons) and Women (Noah's wife and his daughter-in-laws) were separate. After leaving the ark normal relations resumed - families (Noah and his wife or Noah's sons and Noah's daughter-in-laws, were together). Rashi infers this from the different sequencing of Noah, his sons, his wife, and his daughter-in-law.

Verse Text of Verse Rashi comment
Gn06-18
    But I will establish My covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark,
    • thou, and
    • thy sons,
    and
    • thy wife, and
    • thy sons' wives with thee.
The men (Noah and his sons) are with each other and the woman (Noah's wife and his daughter-in-laws) are with each other. This indicates separation.
Gn08-16
    Go out from the ark,
    • you, and
    • your wife,
    and
    • your sons, and
    • your sonsí wives with you.
Upon leaving the ark the couples (Noah and his wife, Noah's sons and his daughter-in-laws) are together. This indicates a cessation of the abstention.

Advanced Rashi: The above explanation by alignment is the traditional explanation of this Rashi. However an advanced Rashi technique uses multiple methods to prove a point. In this case we can find further support for Rashi from verse Gn11-10 which states These are the generations of Shem; Shem was a hundred years old, and fathered Arphaxad two years after the flood; We see that Shem, Noah's eldest son, did not have any children till two years after the flood, supporting the idea that there was abstention in the ark.

This example nicely illustrates the value of using multiple methods in explaining a single Rashi.

Sermonic Points: The reason for the abstention is that it shows a symbolic affirmation of empathy with the suffering of the world. It is not right to enjoy oneself with one's spouse while the world is suffering. It is interesting that this symbolic affirmation is found in Jewish law which prohibits relations during fasts for tragedies that befall the Jewish community. Thus we see here how Noah contributed to Jewish law.


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